OpenAI-owned ChatGPT will now allow users to use the chatbot in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Urdu, Bhojpuri, Kannada, Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, and Malayalam, Inc42 reported today.
To access information in these multiple languages, users just need to log into ChatGPT and ask the chatbot to speak in a specific language, Hindustan Times adds. The bot will converse in the desired vernacular.
We found that users can speak with the bot using both the vernacular script and the Roman alphabet. We could also directly type out a question in the desired language to get a response in it without having to ask the bot to first speak in that language.
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We tried out languages like Tamil, Kannada (with the help of Google Translate), Malayalam, and Hindi—using regional references too.
Why it matters:
The updates follow OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s recent trip to India. It could significantly broaden the chatbot’s uptake across the country. It could also partially address the Indian language gap in Generative AI, giving OpenAI some competitive edge in the race to develop generative AI chatbots for Indians. Tools like ChatGPT are trained off of language models—the quality of the responses depends on the quality and size of the model, among other factors. However, experts have noted that there are limited (and expensive) Indian language models for them to train on. “Indic languages are [now] being seen as a business moat for generative AI [in the country],” observed MediaNama‘s Editor Nikhil Pahwa a few weeks ago.
Not to be forgotten: generative AI chatbots cannot be trusted to provide accurate information. Alongside the positives of multilingual services, ChatGPT’s misinformation problem could also expand into more languages now.
What else did we ask ChatGPT?:
- Malayalam: We asked the chatbot what its name was. It replied that its name was ChatGPT.
- Kannada: We asked the chatbot about how to get to the city’s main railway station, KSR. The chatbot named a few important landmarks near the station, like Kempegowda Circle, while adding that the station was centrally located.
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